John Cena says being cast as a merman in Barbie was an ‘accident’

John Cena has described his casting in Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Barbie as a “happy accident”.

On Tuesday (16 May), the former WWE superstar joined NBC News’s Today show to speak about his appearance as a merman in the forthcoming Margot Robbie-led family comedy based on the popular Mattel doll.

Asked by host Hoda Kotb how he managed to land the role, Cena revealed that he had been trying to get in the film, but ultimately it was Robbie who got him the gig.

At the time, his next movie Fast X was coincidentally shooting across the street from Barbie, which led to a serendipitous “accidental run-in” with Robbie, whom he said “makes a lot of the decisions” in the casting process.

Cena recalled telling her he “would do pretty much whatever you guys need ’cause I really enjoy the movie”.

“And they asked me if I wanted to be a merman,” he added. “It was a happy accident and I think that Barbie and Fast X share a lot of parallels. The cast list is amazing, the Barbie cast list is amazing, the Fast X cast list is amazing.”

Cena returns to the Fast and Furious franchise in its newest instalment, Fast X, which comes out in cinemas on Friday 19 May. Read The Independent’s four-star review of the film here.

John Cena and Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’ (Getty Images and Warner Bros)
John Cena and Margot Robbie in ‘Barbie’ (Getty Images and Warner Bros)

Shortly after, Cena can be seen in Barbie, debuting in cinemas on 21 July.

His character will serve as the love interest to Dua Lipa’s mermaid Barbie, alongside a star-studded cast that includes Issa Rae, Simu Liu, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Kate McKinnon, America Ferreira, and Will Ferrell, alongside Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as her boyfriend Ken.

In the meantime, you can check out why the movie’s “bonkers” trailer convinced fans it could be hiding a “very big twist” as well as the “genius” shot that made them go wild.